Friday, December 9, 2016

Star of Bethlehem?


Thursday, Dec. 24, 1970

Page 3

3 Planets to Converge

The Washington Post

W A S H I N G T O N - Three

planets will appear to come

closer together in the skies on

Christmas morning to produce

an event similar to the one that

brought the wise men to Bethlehem

more than 1,970 years ago.

The planets are Jupiter,

Venus and Mars, which will rise

in the east about four hours before

sunrise Dec. 25 and wander

westward with Venus in

the middle and no more than

15 degrees separating Jupiter

and Mars.

"It's not a remarkable grouping."

an astronomer said

Wednesday, "but lt is what I'd

call an interestingly close


A remarkable grouping did

take place In 7 B. C, which Is

within a year of the time the

Christ child is believed to have

been born.

For a period of 15 months.

Jupiter and Saturn came within

a few degrees of each other

three times and the two giant

planets appeared to join together

with Mars on a fourth

occasion in 6 B, C.

T h e s e planetary groupings

were treated with utmost seriousness

by scholars. Partly because

Saturn was said to govern

the destiny of the Jews and

partly because Jupiter was said

to rule the destinies of kings.

The coming together of Jupiter

and Saturn three times in

one year is an event that happens

once every 125 years. The

conjunction of the two planets

with Mars occurs with even less

frequency, once every 805 years.

This year's grouping of Jupiter,

Mars and Venus takes place

about once every 15 years. The

odd thing shout it this year Is

that It is happening right at


The suggestion that three

massed planets might have been 

tho Star of Bethlehem goes back

to the early 17th Century, when

it was proposed by German astronomer

Johannes Kepler.

Article used with the permission of:

Buffalo State College Archives
 and Special Collections
E. H. Butler Library #135
Buffalo State College
          1300 Elmwood Ave.   
   Buffalo,  NY 14222-1095

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